What’s new in the print industry?

We’ve been producing quality print products since the 1970’s. From our origins as Leeds Booklet Company, we’ve been a leading manufacturer of planners and diaries. Our business is family-run and printing is in our blood. The passion we have for this industry has paved the way for Penstripe to become the established print producer that it is now, and we’ve seen this industry develop in many different ways.

In this post, we’ve put together some of 2015’s major print trends, let us know what you think!

1. 3D Printing

2015 has seen the emergence of a number of different technological advances. As well as machine-specific developments and upgrades – 3D printing has become a hot topic.

3D printing enables the production of a solid 3D object from an online file. Charles Hull invented the first 3D technology system in 1984, and the concept grew from there. After many major breakthroughs in 3D technology, today this type of printing is used for manufacture in a number of industries. Only last week it was announced that designs for a 3D-printed ice house for Mars had been developed, winning NASA’s Mars Habitat Contest , as well as a confectionary shop in Berlin discovering a way to print 3D sweets!

With so much scope and possibility for 3D printing, it will be very interesting to see how this technology develops during the rest of the year and into 2016 – especially when thinking about its possibilities for the health and medical industries.

2. The growth of online communications

 When considering this industry as a whole, obviously its roots are in traditional print. This traditional mind-set is one that many companies find themselves loyal to – however it is important to adapt with society, and embrace the online world.

 Social media offers the perfect method to raise awareness of products and services, and communicate with customers directly. In research recently published by Ricoh, it is documented that only ‘3 in 10 UK Printers have any social media presence (Facebook, Linked In, Twitter) and only 2 in 10 have an active social media presence’.

When ensuring that your company is accessible and engaging to customers, it’s vital to provide them with a social link to generate conversation – demonstrating that there are people behind the brand that they can speak to directly. Going digital doesn’t mean forgetting print and taking your whole business online – but using digital as a means of engagement.

We think that it’s great being able to share our updates on social media, we’re sure it won’t be long until others are doing the same. When an update of this research is issued next year, a comparison can be drawn to see if the UK printing industry is embracing online communication methods.

3. The print industry and the environment

 There’s no denying the fact that printing doesn’t have the best reputation when thinking about this topic, due to the amounts of paper and physical materials used. However, printers do recycle, and have done for a long time. All our used paper and plates are recycled – it would be very irresponsible for us not to – it’s something we’ve done since the company was born.

Heidelberg – a company that is constantly developing technology for the print industry – developed an online CO2 calculator that allows you to log-in and calculate the emissions of print jobs. This means that you can keep track of emissions, and enables you to calculate strategies to cut these emissions down.

Eco-friendly behaviour isn’t so much a trend that has improved during 2015, as the print industry has always been conscious of staying environmentally friendly. However, awareness of how the print industry employs measures to protect the environment has grown.

So – we believe that 3D printing, online communications and the environment have been hot topics in 2015 so far. If you’d like to suggest your own insights, tweet us @Penstripe_

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